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High Estrogen Levels Linked to Dementia in Elderly Men

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - UTRECHT, The Netherlands, July 24 -- For men ages 70 to 91, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have been associated with high levels of endogenous estrogen, but not high levels of testosterone, researchers here reported.

The retrospective analysis of the role of endogenous hormones in elderly men emerged from analysis of data in the prospective cohort of 2,974 Japanese-American men, ages 71 to 91, in the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. The men were dementia-free at baseline in 1991 to 1993.

The investigators undertook the analysis in the light of contradictory evidence for the effect of testosterone on cognition in older men, and the unexpected results from the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study, which found that women receiving estrogen therapy had an increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia. So wrote Mirjam Geerling, Ph.D., at the University Medical Center Utrecht here and colleagues in an online report in the August Annals of Neurology.

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